Food Culture, Traditional Food

It is the Octave of Corpus and People Eat Chiriuchu

Already the bells of the Cathedral toll. They are calling and reminding people today the saints will come out from the Cathedral and once again process with their followers through the streets. It is the octave of the feast of Corpus Christi and time for the saints to make their way back to their parishes, each on a different route and each accompanied by loving devotees.

Chiriuchu the dish of Corpus Christi (Walter Coraza Morveli)
Chiriuchu the dish of Corpus Christi (Walter Coraza Morveli)

The bells also remind that on the Plaza San Francisco the city has set up tents and stands for a gastronomic festival The city will pour out to sit under them and devour the classic festive dish of Cusco, one that may even go back to Inca times, the chiriuchu.

Meaning “cold dish” the chiriuchu not only has a long history, it is symbolically rich and much loved in the Imperial City. It consists of ingredients cooked in different ways, from boiled to fried, and symbolizing different ecological niches. It is carefully composed on the plate into an imposing mountain of food, a mandala of the universe, and should be eaten with the hands in little bits, a bit of this niche and a bit of that, such that in the eating people recompose the whole as it goes inside them.

This afternoon is the time to go to the tents and join the people of Cusco as they celebrate more than the saints, their land of many altitudes and bringing all together in unity. You will enjoy it.

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